Learning World: MOOCs, Vital Tool or Online Fad?
Part 1 - NetEase Open Course, China
Feng is one of a growing number of people in China who are accessing MOOCS in order to learn about subjects that they are unlikely to be able to study at school, college or university. Every weekend, she logs onto NetEase Open Course (NOC), an online education platform established in 2010 which had 50 millions visits last year alone. More than 20,000 lectures, talks and classes from some of the world’s best universities have so far been put online. Users watch them on their way to work, or while exercising, thanks to NOC’s hugely popular mobile app. In just a few years, NOC has built a community in which language or government control are no longer obstacles to learning.
Part 2 - British Council, United Kingdom
The vast majority of people who sign up to these free, online courses – more than 90 percent – do not complete them. Some underestimate the amount of work involved, others realise early on that a particular course is not for them. Many people register as a no-strings experiment as most MOOCs are free. The high drop-off rates have led to criticism that MOOCs have failed to have the transformative impact on the education landscape that had been expected. But educational expert Charles McIntyre, Co-founder of EdTech Europe, disagrees with the argument that MOOCS have passed their peak and have been unimpressive so far.